Holliday plans 70m pounds placing

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The Independent Online
HOLLIDAY Chemical Holdings, the speciality chemicals group, is joining the stock market via a pounds 70m placing and offer for sale this month.

The flotation, sponsored by NM Rothschild, is expected to value the company at pounds 150m. About half the proceeds will be used to cut pounds 45m debt.

Some City analysts predicted a flotation price of 185p, implying a prospective price earnings multiple of about 16. Holliday manufactures industrial dyes and inks and chemicals for the pharmaceuticals and veterinary markets.

In the past six years it has grown organically and by six acquisitions, including the pounds 23m purchase of William Blyth from Hickson International in 1991.

Group operating profits have increased from pounds 5m in 1988 to pounds 12.6m last year, on turnover up from pounds 26.2m to pounds 97m.

According to its pathfinder prospectus, it is facing three claims for alleged patent infringements. In one, it is expected to pay up to pounds 62,500 in settlement. But the group says it has a 'very strong defence' against the other two.